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If your present geographic location is still in the land of Saud, then you're surrounded by the world leaders in longtime grudge holding. The Japanese aren't even in the same league in that particular area of human failing.
True...so true. And it is only 66-km from my garage to the F-1 pit lane at Bahrain International Circuit for me! :D
 

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Funny how you posted that right after the photo of a McLaren F1...??? Not exactly a design that I would say "didn't work".
Well, this thread is about longitudinal mid-engines…correct me if I’m wrong, but the McLaren’s engine is longitudinal and mid-engine. McLaren only turned the tranny sideways. That is a relatively new design concept…do you want to bet if other car manufactures choose to do that also and then become a revolutionary design? I bet you it won’t…
 

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there are some very successful "transverse mid engine" race cars. not many... but certainly some. SRF for example.

i also agree its partly a packaging conversation. the McLaren f1 is a revelation in packaging, it took a formula car layout, and put passengers in the side pods, clothed it in full bodywork and ...walla! the concept was pure genius. you can't do anything like that with an elise chassis.

which is why something like the Hennessy thing is such an abomination....

can you do something similar to a hennessy with an elise chassis - certainly. would it result in something better than factory? likely doable. is it "worth it" only the person taking on the project can answer that! i see no reason to do it, unless you go with something that wouldn't be transverse... (a turbo v-6? get a noble!) so v8 powered, or even porsche flat 6... which begs the question already asked, why not just do a kit built to be that in the first place? (ultima, etc.. all)

i think its cool though... go for it.
 

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Fascinating discussion folks. I am enjoying learning and absorbing all the insights and opinions in this thread.

Honda refused Lotus because they kept one F1 engine for months after Honda demanded its return, a LONG time ago. Industrial espionage isn't something that's forgiven or forgotten.
Do you find it interesting that this past week Honda has signed partnership with Proton (and potentially affecting Lotus)? I am interested in hearing more detail about why Honda refused Lotus the first time around, as I have never heard this reason or the F1 fallout.

I hope Honda's K series engines find their way into Lotus road cars and they get the finances in line to continue producing hopefully back-to-basics cars
 

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Well, this thread is about longitudinal mid-engines…correct me if I’m wrong, but the McLaren’s engine is longitudinal and mid-engine. McLaren only turned the tranny sideways. That is a relatively new design concept…do you want to bet if other car manufactures choose to do that also and then become a revolutionary design? I bet you it won’t…
Ferrari F355... Longitudinal engine, transverse gearbox, just like the McLaren


Pagani Huayra has a longitudinal V12 with transverse gearbox.


Xtrac

Xtrac ALMS transverse (The Audi R18 LeMans racecar uses a similar transverse 6 speed

Ricardo GT1 transverse


LMP transverse (Ricardo)



Hewland TLS (LMP1 &LMP2) transverse

"The most recent user of the 'TLS' gearbox is HPD/Wirth Research using the TLSL fitted in the ARX-01c which in 2010 won Le-Mans LMP2 class with Strakka Racing setting a new distance record and highest finish ever for a LMP2 car (Strakka Racing used the same gearbox to do all of the practice, qualifying and race completing over 6000km) and Highcroft Racing won the ALMS drivers and Team championships along with the HPD winning the Chassis and Engine manufacturers championship. "

Radical RPA longitudinal V8 with transverse gearbox
 

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which is why something like the Hennessy thing is such an abomination....

can you do something similar to a hennessy with an elise chassis - certainly. would it result in something better than factory? likely doable. is it "worth it" only the person taking on the project can answer that! i see no reason to do it, unless you go with something that wouldn't be transverse... (a turbo v-6? get a noble!) so v8 powered, or even porsche flat 6... which begs the question already asked, why not just do a kit built to be that in the first place? (ultima, etc.. all)

i think its cool though... go for it.
The Hennessey Venom GT is just a copy of the Lotus Elise GT1, so don't see it as an abomination at all. If I had the time and money I would build a street legal Elise GT1 in a heartbeat. I'd make an S1 style body though, not the S2 like Hennessey's. His price is an abomination though!
 

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audi quattros and their IMSA 5 cyl cars were all long mounted...tuareg race truck (dakars) too. fwiw.


d/r you're looking at long mid engines...tuareg dakar still counts..aren't NSX v6 transverse?
 

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Would you guys like to know where that transaxle design was invented and first built? Costa Mesa, California. When Murray was designing the F1 he knew it couldn't be packaged using any existing transaxle, so he came to his friend Pete Weismann with the problem and Pete came up with an entirely new design that made the McLaren F1 possible. The first 6 units were built here in SoCal, and then McLaren pulled a fast one on Pete. They didn't want their Oh So British sports car to be using an American transaxle, so they took production bids from English gear companies and a tiny outfit, that could in no way could actually handle the production, magically got the job. The following day that company got swallowed up by Ricardo. So McLaren in collusion with Ricardo stole Pete Weismann's groundbreaking technology and these days its pretty commonly used by everyone. Pete's son Chris told me that story while we were eating burgers and drinking Dos Equis at a 4th of July BBQ. He also told me several years later that Honda tried to steal one of Weismann's US Patents so they wouldn't have to pay royalties on their F1 transaxles. Ballsy move, they simply put their name on the Weismann Patent documents and tried to skate it through. 3 cheers for the sharp Patent Lawyer who caught it and brought them to their knees in court.
You have to know the people who were there when stuff like this happened to get the real story. Reading someone's 3rd-party filtered account of history is entirely inadequate. In fact "history" is the wrong word, history is just the editorialized version of what really happened in the past. Like the "News".
At this point in time Honda crawling into bed with Proton is a Non-Event. Honda has already killed off the best engine they've ever put into production, so unless you're hot for hybrids (what a visual) don't get too excited.
Honda may pull another Rabbit out of a hat, but given their overall track record I'm not going to hold my breath.
 

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It's all about packaging...

A mid engine with a longitudinal engine and transmission will have a very long rear. I recently borrowed an Elise friend's engine hoist to remove my Esprit engine... The Smaller hoist couldn't reach far enough, not even close.
Even a 4cyl with Renault UN1 tranny is a long item!



For the F1 cars with dependence on a very tight coke-bottle waist and tapered tail, they need the thinnest transmission they can get. They also have a long wheel base!

For an LMP car with a body, the thinness of the transmission isn't an issue, but the compact center of mass and reliability is. also the diffuser ramp angle probably works better with a short transverse trans-axle.


Here's an explanation of why Xtrac used a transverse box in the LMP1 cars
XTRAC ENTERS 2011 RACING CAR SEASON WITH FIVE NEW GEARBOXES|European Motor News
For 2011, Xtrac is launching an entirely new transverse gearbox designated the ‘1059’ which is designed to meet the new Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) LMP technical regulations. The new transmission will benefit from Xtrac’s latest developments in casting technology, differential and gearchange philosophy and weight reduction all within very tight cost targets. The gearbox has also been designed for ease of installation of kinetic energy recovery systems and is particularly suited to the Flybrid flywheel system.

The ‘1059’ transmission is housed in a generic main case designed to suit various engine and chassis configurations. With the primary objective of delivering excellent reliability and the ultimate performance, the new gearbox delivers a cost-effective solution and has also been designed for ease of servicing and assembly. The design has been optimised for maximum efficiency by ensuring the minimum number of gear meshes, and its inherent reliability stems from the proven configuration, while its light weight and low centre of gravity have been achieved through mass optimisation of the internal components and main casing.

With an input to output length of only 288mm (excluding the separate bell-housing) the transmission is as short as possible for increased rigidity and minimum packaging dimensions. It also retains the ability to change the gear cluster, which is positioned ahead of the differential, without disassembling the rear of the car.

The 6-speed transmission’s dog engaged sequential gearshift has been engineered to suit the latest MegaLine ‘Family 2’ or ‘OEM 2’ Assisted Gearchange Systems (AGS) and is compatible with other popular AGS systems.
The Elise has a short wheelbase, and short overhangs. With the engine and transmission being so short, it has a very low polar moment of inertia. It changes direction very fast. That's good for tighter, shorter courses, but not necessarily for higher speeds and higher power levels. Hence, why Lotus went to a much longer wider car for the Elise GT1 in 1997.
Hey look at that from Page 2...
That looks like a transverse Hewland 6 speed TGT 200.

All this is just to say that there are many options, depending on packaging requirements. No reason to say one is better than another... There is an option for whatever somebody needs to package.
 
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